Jimmy V 20 Years Later

On the eve of the Final Four we look back 30 years, at the improbable cinderella run that the North Carolina State Wolfpack went on, en route to the national title. In case you have never seen it, or need a refresher, check the video after the jump.

This team, was one of the most inspirational teams of all time. Time after time, they were written off during the season. Many times they could have given up, but somehow, someway they persevered and fought through. They were down countless times during the tournament, only to comeback and prevail. During the National Championship, when they faced Houston’s “Phi Slamma Jama” team which included future Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, they were down 7 and eventually came back to win with a buzzer beater slam dunk. After the play, Valvano was in disbelief, running around the court just trying to find someone to hug.

While this team may be the inspiration for recent cinderella stories, this team found its inspiration from their coach Jim Valvano. He always told his team to fight, and never give up and 10 years later that message was evident.  During his bout with cancer, he inspired people all over the country, culminating with his speech at the 1993 ESPY’s. During this event, Valvano was being honored with the Arthur Ashe award for courage, as he was in the middle of a 10 month battle with cancer. Sadly Valvano passed away less than 8 weeks after his speech, but luckily there is video.

His words will live on, giving anyone who is down hope for and inspiration through the tough times.

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